With his football duties over until August, Tony Romo is concentrating on his other passion, which is golf. The CBS analyst accepted a sponsor’s exemption for the upcoming AT&T Byron Nelson in May.

Tony Romo
Tony Romo is taking a PGA Tour sponsor’s exemption and will be playing in the AT&T Bryon Nelson in May. (Image: Getty)

This is the second tour event Romo will play in as an amateur. He played in last year’s Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, which is an alternate PGA Tour event, played the same week in March as the World Golf Championship’s Match Play event.

Despite playing with second-level professionals, Romo struggled. He shot 77-82 at Dominican Republic golf course, the worst total score of any entrant. He missed the cut by 16 strokes.

Still, Romo is excited about playing in the Byron Nelson, which is being held at Trinity Forest, Romo’s home course, in Dallas. He said in a statement that he was happy to be given an exemption.

“Golf is one of my greatest passions outside my family and football, and I am honored to have the opportunity to compete amongst the pros again in this year’s AT&T Byron Nelson,” Romo said.

Tournament Attraction?

Romo is obviously an icon in Dallas, having played quarterback for the Cowboys for 14 seasons. Now as a football analyst, he is enjoying a second, equally as successful, career.

Golf, though, has grabbed Romo, and Bryon Nelson tournament director Jon Drago said having him in the field would be a welcomed addition.

“Romo is a legendary competitor, member of Trinity Forest, and long-time friend of AT&T and the Salesmanship Club of Dallas,” Drago said. “We look forward to watching him put his talents to test while competing against the best in the game of golf.”

After last year’s disappointing performance in Central America, Romo is eager to see how he’ll perform in his own backyard. He did have some success last summer playing in celebrity and amateur events. He won the Racine Tri-Course Amateur Championship by nine shots in July and captured the celebrity-centric American Century Championship later that month.

At the recent Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, he partnered with pro Jim Furyk and had one of the shots of the tournament. He chipped from a hospitality tent onto the green.

Romo did try and qualify for both the tour and the US Open. At Q-School he made it past the first stage, but failed to advance from the second. At US Open qualifying, he did not get out of sectionals.

Other Athletes Hitting Links

Romo is not the only current or former professional athlete with golfing aspirations. The sport has always been popular with professional baseball players, and now other sports stars are getting hooked.

Golden State Warrior Steph Curry has played in the Ellie Mae Classic, a tour stop on the PGA Tour’s Web.com tour. He missed the cut in 2017 and 2018.

Hall of Fame baseball pitcher John Smoltz recently announced that he had been given three exemptions in the PGA Tour Champions this year. He is using the first one at next week’s Cologuard Classic in Tucson.

“Every pro athlete loves to compete every chance they get and I can’t wait to get out here and compete with these guys and see what I can do,” Smoltz said.